The home becomes a place that reflects dreams of success and social status. For some, the living room once again becomes a fancy reception room, with generous leather sofas and room for the status symbol of the day, the stereo system. The TV runs American shows about the rich and seemingly happy. Ornaments and multi-piece dinner services are shown off in lit glass display cases.
Life at home
For many, the 1980s is an optimistic, frivolous decade, with booming stock markets and broad shoulder pads signalling confidence. The colourful, kitschy postmodern style thrives side by side with elegant furniture in fancy materials. Outward appearance is everything, and it’s important to see and be seen.
After the unbridled do-it-yourself and practical everyday spirit of the Seventies, there’s a pent-up yearning for luxury and elegance. Dinner tables are set with crystal glasses and extravagant curtain arrangements adorn the windows. IKEA launches the STOCKHOLM collection, furniture of high quality in quality materials. STOCKHOLM is of classic Scandinavian style, intended to appeal to customers who have left their wild youth behind and are now ready for grown-up life.
Meanwhile, others are attracted by the period’s more playful and postmodern design, which suits IKEA well. Influences of high-tech with steel furniture and painted surfaces mix with fun, colourful textiles. The style is bold and expressive. IKEA makes simple yet stylish furniture such as the LACK table and the softly shaped KLIPPAN sofa – easily placed big sellers that are still in the range today.
In 1980s IKEA, the furniture is a mix of many different styles and tastes. Things progress quickly – sometimes a bit too quickly. The range spreads out in too many directions, and the rapid expansion leads to frustrating problems like screws missing from flat packs, and popular products being out of stock.
The 1980s are a roller coaster, and the glory days end with an almighty stock market crash. Social divides increase, and many young people start resisting the spirit of excess and luxury consumption. As the next decade begins, it will be all change once again.